Unravelled proteins form blobs during translocation across nanopores

Adina Sauciuc, Jacob Whittaker, Matthijs Tadema, Kasia Tych, Albert Guskov, Giovanni Maglia*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The electroosmotic-driven transport of unravelled proteins across nanopores is an important biological process that is now under investigation for the rapid analysis and sequencing of proteins. For this approach to work, however, it is crucial that the polymer is threaded in single file. Here we found that, contrary to the electrophoretic transport of charged polymers such as DNA, during polypeptide translocation blob-like structures typically form inside nanopores. Comparisons between different nanopore sizes, shapes and surface chemistries showed that under electroosmotic-dominated regimes single-file transport of polypeptides can be achieved using nanopores that simultaneously have an entry and an internal diameter that is smaller than the persistence length of the polymer, have a uniform non-sticky ( i . e . non-aromatic) nanopore inner surface, and using moderate translocation velocities.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
Publication statusSubmitted - 25-Jan-2024

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